IGF 2021 – Day 0 – Event #83 AfICTA - Driving the Digital Potential of Africa

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Apologies.  We're just trying to get our speakers into the session.  There was a bit of complications this morning with registration and getting the right things out.  Kayode, are we good?  Apologies.  We are one of first group of sessions starting today, I believe.  There was some technical hiccups I saw on the registration site.  So hopefully the rest of our speakers will manage to join shortly.

So we are a sector which is the Africa ICT appliance.  We're a private sector‑led alliance based out of Africa that works with Multi‑National Corporations, organizations and individuals on continent and mission really is to unlock the potential of the Internet ‑‑ not the Internet.  ICTs to drive our continent forward.

We have our regional vice chairs and what we're going to do in this session is just give you some insight into what is happening on the continent, some of the challenges, some of the opportunities, some of the successes and where we feel we're moving forward.  Yeah.  Here with this year and this session is quite norm now of these hybrid workshops where the recent pandemic or the current pandemic has really changed the way we collaborate and communicate.  This highlights some of the infrastructure challenges that are faced and how we're overcoming those.  So I'm not going to take away any more of our time.  I will hand it over to Thabo who is going to give a bit of an introduction and some opening remarks and then we'll move into the formal part of our program.  Towards the end, we want to open up it for questions.  Not just questions, but any thoughts or interventions anyone might have or any thoughts this I might have as an organization.  On that note, I am handing it over to our chair, Thabo.

>> THABO MASHEGOANE:  Thank you, Paul.  Much appreciated and I would like to take this opportunity to greet all.  My name is Thabo Mashegoane.  And for what we do at AflCTA, we are an advocacy group.  We are facilitating the realization of a digital realm for our stakeholders in Africa.  So the issue being what we have identified that is under representation of groupings in Africa when it comes to policy decision making and also enhance we exist.  We exist for that.  We exist to insure that we put forth these decepting voices of those who might be marginalized.  We appreciate the time you have 15 to come into our workshop 15A in developing a least developed countries and our emphasis this year is on user connectivity and content.  As you have seen with advent of us having moved into the hybrid mode of operation, a large component of people who might not have been exposed before to the digital environment are now finding themselves at a center stage.  While they find themselves at center stage, work also and creativity type of work is actually have changed in how we (?) to customers out today whether it is software, whether it is music, whether it is content that has got to do with art, you find that the whole changed.  It is very imperative as we get ourselves get up into this new way of work and this new way of living and this new way of environment that is in a hybrid and digital environment that we actually get ourselves to be ready and also to make sure that especially those who are from developing in least developed countries have taken a law.  Paul, thank you for giving me this platform and I hope that you will actually enjoy the session as we move on with the discussions on our ‑‑ on the regions to hear what the experiences, what challenges there are have been experienced and opportunities thereof.  I think what is critical is for us to cross from each other and to make sure that at the end of the day when we put down the policies they are well informed and they have got everyone's voice incorporated into them.  I would like to give back the podium to you, Paul, the moderator and you can proceed.  Thank you.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you, Thabo.  You can see the content is this massive opportunity for ICT space.  We still have a few speakers that have not quill managed to get into the session.  Dr. Mohamad, I didn't see him online yet.  Dr. Wadu Young.  Ulandi Exner is in southern Africa vice chair.  If you can just give us a short introduction of yourself and a bit of what is happening in the southern African region.

>> ULANDI EXNER:  Thank you, Paul.  Yes as mentioned, I am Ulandi Exner, I am the southern representative for AflCTA.  I have got approximately 20 years of experience in ICT.  I'd rather spend most of my time giving feedback in terms of what's happening in South Africa.  I think certainly needless to say, the pandemic has had a major impact on all industries including the ICT sector.  What you have seen also with the pandemic is a host of new languages which are probably going to use some of them now such as can you hear me?  Can you see me?  So I giggle because we'll probably ‑‑ through all of the presentations, we'll be hearing a lot of that network connectivity challenges.  I think what certainly has been great in terms of the pandemic itself obviously has not been great, but it has been a catalyst in terms of driving change in my region.  For example, for many, many years, we've been advocating more around digitalization and working from home.  We'll get to it.  We'll get to it.  Next year.  Next year.  We don't have the budget for it.  And unfortunately, this is exactly what happened.  COVID forced us to make those changes and it is unfortunately let me use one of those word its is going to be the new normal.  Digital technologies has definitely become what we have seen for many years, but more so now, everyone is encouraged to work from home.  We have (?) with the lockdowns that were imposed on us at the beginning of the pandemic as well as right through the pandemic.  We've seen an increase in food delivery services, which is great because it has ‑‑ other than the fact that a lot of businesses lost ‑‑ were forced to close down, we have seen many merchants of new businesses such as food delivery, not just from restaurants, but from groceries, logistics.  There's been online payments.  So now it's not just a case of putting in your credit card and putting in your PIN number.  We actually have contactless payments which I know has been around in other countries for quite some time, but as recently, it's been in Africa (?) has increased as well because children haven't been able to go to school as well as entertainment.  I think a normal things like movie theaters and you have seen an increase in our digital platforms such as Netflix and other platforms coming to the form.

Very quickly, I want to run some of the solid communications statistics which are obtained from South Africa telecommunication later.  I share some stats with you, folks.  It has increased and telecommunications (audio cutting out) over 6‑year period, the telecommunications increased by 1.1%.  We have seen an increase over a period, but over the last year, there's been a decrease.

In terms of the national population for telecommunications, we have seen that the 3G increased in 2019 to 99.8% in 2020.  The national populations averaged for 4G increased from 92.8% in 2019 to 96.4% in 2020.  And the 5G population coverage is at 0.6%.  So there is an increase, but probably not as much as we'd like.  So we'll continue monitoring and watching that space.

As far as the rural population which is concerned, that's always a challenge because of the geographical span of South Africa.  2G and 3G in all our provinces are sitting at 99% coverage.  It is a major concern with no coverage in 2020.  And that is in our rural population.  As far as urban population, 2G, 3 GRTE and 5G, all the provinces are at about 99 to 100% coverage in 2020.

Persons employed in the telecommunications sector is important to know there has been an increase by 1.6% in 2020, which is great.  FIMA (?) (audio cutting out) FIMA employees as a proportion increased by 21.9% from 2019 to 2020.  So very glad to see those numbers increasing.  Over 6‑year period, telecommunications set total employment and FIMA employment increased by 2.1% and 2.4%.  So great statistics.  Just some final statistics before I touch on the regulatory lense.  I don't see any hands, but feel free to jump in and mute me if necessary.

So what I thought was quite interesting and especially having and sharing the platform today with my colleagues and some of my neighboring countries is the international benchmarks.  So the global (?) in south A46a was at night in 2019 and went up to 87 in 2020 for fixed broadband.  The normal broad a band was 60 and 2020 was at 55.  So that's comparing it to the China and Russia and some of those other countries.  With neighboring countries, so South Africa speed ranking for fixed broadband was at 87.  The higher compared to other countries.  So just want to put this challenge out there for my neighboring countries to try and beat that.  And South Africa is the highest ranked country among the neighbors with a rank of 55 in 2020.

As far as the regulatory landscape is concerned, I will touch very, very briefly in terms of what's happened in South Africa in the last 12 months.  We've had the first implementation date of the 1st of July 2021 which is for the protection of the person mentioned at.  We fondly refer to it as POPIA.  For those not familiar with POPIA, it would be the GDPR and POPIA is based on the GDPR requirements.  Information regulator is also in the process of auctioning which is very high demand spectrum and we're hoping that we're going to get some closure on that.  This has been going to for a number of years and hopefully our minister of telecommunications and digital technologies will bring this lengthy process to an end to make available which is in high demand.

And lastly, in terms of cyber terms, something again that in terms of the (?) we're been working on for a number of years on the 26th of May, 2021, the President signed the bill.  The President of South Africa has commencement to be the 1st of December, 2021 and the President fixed different dates for different provisions on the act.  Again, they did receive quite a lot of negative reviews and a lot ‑‑ and a lot of, um, kickback from industry, but I think we are addressing cybercrimes in south Africa.  Time will only tell in terms of, you know, how the enforcement and the regulatory framework will assist in combating the cybercrimes.  Paul, at a very, very high level, this is what's happened in my region over the last 12 months.  I hope it has been insightful and over back to you, Paul.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you, Ulandi.  Very comprehensive review in southern Africa.  I will move over to west Africa region, regional vice chair.  Tola, the floor is yours.

>> TOLA:  Thank you, Paul.  The network is bad.  I am not going to show video.  Can you hear me properly?

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Yes.  We can hear you.

>> TOLA:  Thank you.  I must say the analysis has been very interesting and encouraging.  We'll try our best.  We can play catch up in the sub-region of west Africa.  Of course, where we talk about west Africa, we know Nigeria has a big role in terms of technology and personnel.  Yet, it will be challenging.  It's been a mixed bag.  Obviously COVID added a big impact on everything we do.  It's a global affair anyway, but Nigeria and west Africa is not exclusive.  We have some activities here where a couple of activities which (?) we had a member of a ‑‑ they used to have a physical program in person program on cybersecurity and business.  Because of COVID, most activities were reduced to ‑‑ reduced to virtual.  In Nigeria, we have the trial session which was for cybersecurity.  We have parts that are mid‑contribution on what had been across the members to the region.  I can say just like that, bulk activities revolve around learning mostly.  Most of the activities are around learning and what everyone noticed the COVID experience, the pandemic insured that a lot of tech companies enabled virtual suspicion across different platforms.  And that made some new tech businesses to come up, which AflCTA will be glad to take advantage of.  Making use of virtual platforms for participation.  I would like to take a pause and come back on one or two concrete examples if there is any intervention from another region, I would like to yield the floor while I come back with one or two contributions later.  Thank you, Paul.  You are muted, Paul.  Can't hear you.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  I know.  I'm trying to unmute.  I can't unmute.

>> MELISSA SASSI:  We can hear you, Paul.  You are successfully unmuted.

>> TOLA:  We can hear you now.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  You can hear me?  Okay.  It still says I'm on mute.  Okay.  So thanks, TOLA.  Thanks.  We've got different perspective.  We're still short of next two speakers who seem technical challenges unable to connect.  While we're waiting for them to come on board, we can possibly open the floor for some questions.  Now for questions, someone can take the floor.  They can request to take the floor through hands up, pose the question in the chat and I can pose the question.

>> KAYODE OYEYEMI:  Yes, Paul.  We have (?).

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Okay.  Fantastic.  Okay.  We have another one of our board members on the call.  Eric, can you give us a bit of your perspective?  Eric, be you able to unmute?  Would the host be able to unmute Eric?  Eric, you're unmuted, Eric.  Eric?  I think Eric might be on a call.  Maybe we can just mute Eric.  Would it be possible to mute ‑‑ thank you.  I think Eric might be on a call right now.  Do we have any questions that anyone would like to pose?  Hands up.  Chat.  Melissa, maybe you can give something from a business perspective.

>> MELISSA SASSI:  Yeah.  Sure.  You can hear me okay?

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  We can hear you.

>> MELISSA SASSI:  All right.  Super.  Let me turn off this light.  My name is Melissa Sassi.  I call myself the chief penguin in IBM.  I work in the division of IBM.  I had a student and entrepreneur experience within the IBMC division of IBM.  I work in a lot of enabling ecosystems.  What I mean by that is looking at, you know, our young people, looking at students and also early stage entrepreneurs and thinking about what are those skills, those digital skills that are students and young people especially need to have to make meaningful use of the internet across the continent and beyond.  One of the things I had a wonderful opportunity in rolling out and creating is a series of talks and events and platforms that look at those skills that are necessary for the future of work.  I look at that as let's say the trivecta of skills is kind of what I call it.  Dr. Sassi's trivecta skills.  The first component is digital skills and readiness and I work from a framework that was recently as of last year endorsed by IEEE.  It was 400,000 members worldwide, heavy population of people that were members from both the research community, the student community, Private Sector, et cetera.  What we did is we evaluated and this was kind of incorporated into the research from my Ph.D. around how do you evaluate what does it mean to make meaningful use of the internet and what are those enabling ecosystems.  The digital skills framework comes from an organization out of Singapore called the DQ institute and it has 8 components and it includes things like safety and security.  It includes what we call digital literacy which is coding, AI, machine learning, data science.  So what many people often, you know, think about when you say digital skills and no I'm not saying that everyone should be an engineer or data scientists, but everyone regardless of whether you come from a local village or a large city like Joe Hanesberg, you should understand what computer science is all B.

The second component of those trivecta of skills is what I called a combination of habits and attitudes or what you mile see referred to as professional development skills or the words that I personally despise and that's soft skills.  We know they're super hard and they're very difficult often.

The third component is entrepreneurial spirit.  And I don't care whether you plan on becoming an entrepreneur or you never plan on becoming a CEO and founder of your own company.  There are skills that you still need to have that are, you know, relevant for an entrepreneur.  Someone that is innovating and creating inside of somebody's company.  I have my own non‑profit where we have taught tens of thousands of young people to code in 12 countries.  We have an IoT lab, a robotic lab and a co‑work space in north Africa.  So it is between Algeria and Libya.  If I think about it, you know, what I hear from students is where I can gain access the skills?  Where can I gain access to free learning opportunities?  How do I go from student 0, meaning someone who's never been able to code before in their lives to someone who has a defined learning journey that they can take in their own capacity, maybe even outside of formal education?  I often hear from teachers.  What are learning journeys that I can incorporate into my classroom?  One of the places that I often send people to is one of the platforms I manage is the IBMC student global hub.  I will put that in the chat window for anyone who is interested.  And then on the entrepreneur front, I often hear a number of different things.  Number 1, where can I gain access to funding.  Where can I gain access to mentorship?  Where can I gain access to credits to help me run my tech platform or my app because obviously as an early stage founder, you may not have revenue coming in or you may have an idea but haven't necessarily refined your idea.  So how do you get your pitch down knowing that hey, you know what?  I got an idea.  It can impact my local community.  I think in both sectors, we still have significant problems.  Assume you have access to the Internet, assume you have access to affordable Internet, which we know are both very big challenges across the continent, but once you got that, where do you get access to affordable devices?  And then where do you get access to the right skills and network and, um, you know, advisors and sponsors who can help you move your career or business forward.  When I put on my entrepreneur experience hat, I also run a program that's called the IBM hiker protective accelerator where we have hundreds of startups in our program and big challenges for both, you know, if you put on your hat as a woman or a girl, a female, we know that in the just in the U.S. alone, which is where I come from, even though I'm joining you from Poland today.  By the way, it is very cold in Poland for those of you that didn't make it here.  It is snowing here.  For those of that you have seen snow before, I will tell you it is cold here.  But what I was going to say is that even in the United States and some of the developed countries, less than 3% of venture capital, so meaning, you know, large companies or venture capitalists that are investing in startups goes to female founders.  Less than 3%.  Now don't tell me there aren't crews of amazing female entrepreneurs out there that are out innovating and creating local solutions in local languages but are not able to access venture capital funds.  This is one of the issues that I've been working on solving in my program more than 50% of my startups have at least 1 female founder.  The numbers just as dismal for the black community, for the Indigenous communities and other minorities.  Within my program, we have 34% startups with at least one black founder.  So again, that's another important element that, you know, I'm focused on resolving and I have been focused on chiseling away on over the last year.

On the student front, gosh, if you look at students who are learning ICT skills and then going into formal employment, you know, 20, 30% of, um, the ITC‑‑ or ICT workforce is made up of women.  So there's a lot of significant effort that I'm undertaking and all of us must undertake together to continue to chisel away at making sure that the applications and services and solutions that are being built, not just by big tech companies like IBM and others are appropriately taking into consideration the wants, the needs, the aspirations and the paying points of females and others who are within local communities.  So let this serve as a call to action for all of us to figure out what skills do we individually have that we can share forward to start to change some of these numbers on both the entrepreneur front and on the student front.  Again, I'll put some links in the chat window for those of you who are interested in engaging further or interested in connecting, you know, after this session.  Back over ‑‑ back over to you.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you, chief penguin.  You should be fine in the cold.


Your natural habitat.

>> MELISSA SASSI:  I got the right job title for sure.  I am inside for those of that you see me in a short sleeve shirt.  When I am outside, I am definitely covering my head and snugly in a scarf and gloves.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you very much.  I did see Dr ‑‑ ah, there we are.  Dr. Shedeed, thank you for joining us.  Apologies for the complications with the links and things this morning.  If you don't mind, I'm going to pass the floor over to you for a short intervention on what's happening in north Africa and Egypt, your home town or home country.  Thank you.  We need to unmute you first.  Can we unmute Mohamad?  Okay.

>> DR. MOHAMAD SHEDEED:  Good morning, everyone.  I am Dr. Mohamad Shedeed.  We have a membership in the ICT community.  I have 5 minutes to speak.  I'll give you brief account about what's happening in Egypt and what's happening in the region if I have any information.

Egypt is passing now through a very widespread transformation.  First since 2018, campaign for digitizing all governing services delivered to the citizens is now in digitalization.  There is a platform, different platforms for serve delivery from all government departments and citizens in effect right now.  Almost 95 different government service is delivered online.  The online delivery can be either from computer laptop or what you call digital centers over different ones where people come in and they ask for appointments and you can go online there and do whatever service they want to have from the government issuing certificates registering cars, payments of dues, payment of government fees.  Anyway, for the second access online payment systems are very much encouraging using (?) cost very encouraging by the government and banks.  It gives incentives to people who are ready to issue new credit cards or debit cards used to pay whatever service they need.

In fact, this is the third line is that what you call smart centers.  We are now establishing a new administrative capital.  It is completely new capital.  The government to be there.  The parliament will be there.  The presidents will be there.  This I will be the new administrative capital and the government of organizations there.  This is one of two smart centers established in Egypt.  Egypt is going towards smart centers in the capital or another city in north of Egypt west of Alexandria is 40 kilometers of Alexandria is a new city.

Now can I share a presentation with you on a slide?  Can I do that?

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Yes.  Quick presentation.  Thank you. we can use the chat to pose questions or the hands up, which is under red actions, I believe, on the bottom of the screen.

>> DR. MOHAMAD SHEDEED:  Okay.  I'm just opening the file.  Not yet.  Yes.  By the way, unfortunately, I'm thinking the session will start at 11:30 local time.  I was shocked it started at 10:30.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Our original time slot was changed.

>> DR. MOHAMAD SHEDEED:  I was not informed about that.  Okay.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Dr. Shedeed, it's not showing yet.

>> DR. MOHAMAD SHEDEED:  Now can you see it?

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  It's coming up.  Thank you.  Okay.  We can see the screen.

>> DR. MOHAMAD SHEDEED:  This is what's happening in Egypt.  This is statistics for comparing what's happening in 2020 compared to 2019.  As you may see around the point of view, there is graph of 15.2% between 2019 and 2020.  The GDP from ICT is 93.6 billion Egyptian pounds compared to 108 billion Egyptian pounds.  And the dollar is about 16 Egyptian pounds.  Okay?  Now, if you go to different parameters between Internet capacity, it's increased at 2.5%.  Individually using Internet increased 10% from 4 to 7.6 million to 57.3.  Broadband increased.  Mobile broadband increased 8%.  Used to be mobile subscriptions from 3.4 mill 81 to 3.5 million.  The increase is that the whole infrastructure of the country is changing from copper wire that was used in the past to fiber optic network over all the capital of Cairo.  These are the numbers that chose how Egypt is proceeding in ICT and technology.  One more point payment facilities on the banks and using online payment platforms and mobile applications is quite encouraging by all banks and the government itself.  I don't know if I have any questions to answer now.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Okay.  Thank you.  There's no questions at the moment.  We'll open the floor shortly for questions.

>> DR. MOHAMAD SHEDEED:  We're cooperating with different African countries and have established an organization called AflCTA, Africa ICT association established in 2012 and we're partnering with them and empowering the concept of digital in Africa.  Okay?

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you, doctor.  So now we're had different perspectives.  I don't know if Eric is ready to speak now.  Eric, would you like to take the floor for 5 minutes?  If not, I can open up the floor for questions.  Would anyone like to pose a question?  I know we're the morning start for those that are in (?).  Okay.  Let me just have a small chat.  What you can see on the continent note, the industrial revolution is here.  It's real.  It's happening.  Our government is setting up for industrial revolution task force.  There's a lot of work being done to look at the gaps and to draw a line on legislation and policy that creates an environment where our citizens can connect, businesses can connect and there's a tall for change.  You heard about e‑Commerce, the boom of e‑Commerce.  This came about through the pandemic.  The pandemic was bad.  Only good coming out of the pandemic is it put technology to the forefront.  Our kids need access to Internet to create access to eLearning tools.  A lot of eLearning tools evolved over the past year.  Digital payments, massive move forward in shift in digital payment.  In many ways, the African continent is a leader.  We have seen this in east Africa.  We have seen the mobile phone being used as a payment tool.  This is due to low levels of financial inclusion in the traditional banking systems.  And the banks are changing on the continent.  They're starting to close the bricks and mortar branches and move towards digital payments.  That doesn't say that there's not challenges.  We've got digital equality on the continent that is led by the inability for many of our citizens to access that technology due to afford act and accessibility issues.  So, you know, finding a technology that can address those low‑income citizens and make sure that everyone has equitable access to the benefits that technology ICTs and the fourth industrial revolution is supposed to bring.

I saw an interesting discussion group in one of our local discussion groups this morning where someone is asking why don't we have a digital COVID passport in Namibia and they don't have access to Smartphones or can't afford the data to use a Smartphone.  So we're still paper driven and it's not a technology problem.  We have the technology available to us.  We need to bridge these ‑‑ build these bridges and it's not to say it's not happening.  It is happening.  This is where there's massive opportunity for the ICT sector and business on the continent around building that.  Fiber is building towards the village, but the countries are vast.  There's vast areas that need to be covered.  So the middle mark is being built as we speak.

So from AflCTA's perspective, our drive is to align the, a CT professionals, the ICT, academia, government to help drive the right policy that can shape the right narrative and create the right environment for African ICT sector to thrive.  This is not about just being a consumer.  It's about Africa being a producer of global international property and being an incubator for building those next tech innovations that would help drive other parts of the world forward as well.  So, you know, the knowledge is here.  The skill is here.  Everything we need to succeed is here.  We just need to strengthen that collaborative framework, work with our partners and expand our partnership.  This part of our session is an outreach for AflCTA is an outreach to you, it's an outreach to other partners that couldn't join us, but will read this transcript later.  Africa is open for business.  Africa is moving forward and AflCTA is a body that can help bring the stakeholders together and drive the right digital narrative to enable what we want to enable on the continent.  I don't know if anyone has any questions.  The floor is still open for questions, interventions, thoughts.  Ulandi, I see you have your hand up.  I will give the floor to you.

>> ULANDI EXNER:  Thank you, Paul.  Thank you for some of your views there.  What I would also like to challenge the members on this platform is, you know, we talk about Artificial Intelligence or talk about the fourth industrial revolution.  In there, we have big data and Artificial Intelligence and robotics and the likes.  But something which we don't talk enough about and today is not the platform for that, but I would like us to start thinking about that.  If it is being done, great.  If not, we need to start talking about it is the ethics around the instruments around fourth industrial revolution have the discussions around ethics.  Not just the regulatory framework and regulation, but ethics as a co‑component.  I will give you very simple example of what is happening in South Africa at the moment and one has to ask a question.  You can be ethical but is it ‑‑ you can be lawful and ethical, but just to get the creative juices going is in South Africa, one of the organizations is doing blasting in our oceans.  And they have a court order in which they can do that.  By law, they're allowed to do that.  Is it ethically okay that they're destroying our oceans?  I know this is not the platform to discuss green peace and what everyone feels about it, but from an ethical perspective, I would like to have the discussions that we as ICT practitioners take care in terms of perhaps combining regulatory framework with the discussions around ethics which, Paul, I wanted to throw that out there.  If anyone has any comments or contributions, I am happy to hear what they are.  Thanks, Paul.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you, Ulandi.  Any other thoughts from our team?  From those that joined us this morning?  I think we were one of the first sessions, the breakfast session.  I'd like to also recognize our former chair that's also joined us for this session.  Hossam, do you have a couple of words you would like to share with us?

>> HOSSAM:  Thank you, Paul.  From my end, just to first of all, the word ICT does no longer mean probably information communication technology, but more of innovation and communication technology.  The force industry revolution is reshaping a lot of the technology involvement that we are talking about.  And in fact, some of this involvement might not mean that much strong spread infrastructure but more concise one if you are talking about precision agriculture, for example.  The form would need ‑‑ it might not mean the connectivity up to the main ‑‑ the main Internet, but still it needs a lot of innovation and basically with the smart agriculture, smart industry, smart infrastructure, all of that would need first of all creating proper awareness.  And this is exactly what you are doing here, but more needs to be done certainly in Africa to recognize the return on investment on such important innovation and communication technology.  What is good about using the force industry revolution is that we can really calculate and evaluate the amount of return on investment that can be done in different sectors.  This brings around additional challenges related to regulation, related to capacity building not just to infrastructure investment but more on people side.  So I would really recommend and ask that we find ways to share best practices again between different countries especially south that we have more awareness programs related to how to implement the force industry revolution so we are not left behind related to how we secure the solutions that we are going to implement and how this really achieves a better return on investment for everyone and certainly a better national domestic groups.  Thank you very much.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you, Hossam.  Okay.  We are the final minute or two of our session.  I want to hand the floor to Thabo if he's still available for a last word.  Thabo, are you able to give a last word in closing?

>> THABO MASHEGOANE:  Thank you.  Much appreciated to the panelists and thanks, Paul, for moderating this session.  And I think actually it shows the wealth of information that we've got among ourselves and when it comes to collaboration, a collaboration is (?) observed given all the reports from all of the regions that are in different and myriad innovations that have happened over the past year just to cut apart every region from where it used to be to a better stance.  I think what is very critical is that cross sharing to actually now and again to say if this type of solution worked for Egypt, will it work for Tanzania as an example.  In particular a solution that's been done in Nigeria, will that particular type of solution be shared and it's very eclectic, we do not leave efforts behind.  Those were a little bit ahead all to do that.  And our thanks, Hossam, and others.  This is day 0, but in two days’ time, we'll go into the main event if you can actually join us again when you have a time, we will appreciate that.  Much appreciated.  Thanks, Paul.  Thank you.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Okay.  Thank you, Thabo.  This draws our session to an end and once again, thank you all for joining us and I wish everyone a successful IGF and hopefully we'll see you at our main workshop sessions.  Thank you and goodbye.